1. Environment and Human Right
Environmental sustainability and the promotion of human rights closely intertwine and complementary objectives that are at the core of sustainable development. The mutually supportive nature of these objectives has several dimensions.
- Ecosystem and the services they provide, such as food, water, disease management, climate regulation, and spiritual fulfillment, are preconditions for the full enjoyment of human rights, including rights to life, health, water, and food.
- At the same time, efforts to promote environmental sustainability can only be effective if they occur in the context conductive legal frameworks, and are greatly informed by the exercise of certain human rights, such as the right to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice.
The implementation of the post-2015 development agenda will require States and other relevant actors to adopt policy and mobilize resources to advance equitable, human-rights-based and sustainable development. The linkage between human rights and environment are one of the key aspects that needs to be addressed in balancing the three dimension of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A significant number of court cases, national constitution and legislation, and International Instruments have acknowledged the close linkages between the two fields, in particular with respect to substantive and procedural human rights.
ICENECDEV uses the human rights based- approach to tackle environmental issues :Climate Change, Land Grabbing, Food Security, Waste and Water management.
2. Waste and Water Management
ICENECDEV address marine litter as key environmental issues affecting the lives and livelihood of the coastal people in Cameroon. ICENECDEV is a partner of the Global Partnership on Marine litter Initiative of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
What is the Global Partnership on Marine Litter?
Litter is found in all the world's oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human contact and obvious sources of the problem. The continuous growth in the amount of solid waste thrown away, and the very slow rate of degradation of most items, is together leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea, on the sea floor and coastal shores. It is an economic, environmental, human health and aesthetic problem posing a complex and multi-dimensional challenge.
Marine litter and debris is an increasing key area of concern for the Africa,Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). Injury and fatality to marine life caused by ingestion of, or entanglement in, harmful marine debris is on the rise. Aesthetically, the Pacific Island beaches, often reliant on tourism are increasingly showing signs of marine litter washing ashore; from both ship based and land based sources. Ship based marine litter includes fishing lines and nets. Once abandoned or lost at sea, floating in the ocean and washing into the coast the nets fish indiscriminately and may trap protected and threatened species. Turtles, in particular, are vulnerable to trapping in ghost nets. Ships’ waste reception facilities are also not up to the required standards in many African, pacific island ports and could contribute to illegal dumping of ships’ waste.
ICENECDEV educate and sensitise the local population,schools and coastal villages on marine litter as part of our environmental education activities.
3. Environmental Education and Training
Environmental Education promotes attitudes and value systems that influence environmentally ethical behaviour by developing understanding, skills and values that will enable people participate as active and informed citizens in the development of an ecologically sustainable and socially just society.
Our environmental education programmes, projects, initiatives and activities are organized around three pillars, namely: Education, Training and Networking with specific focus in local communities, colleges and universities.
Environmental Education is fundamental to the achievement of the goal of sustainable development. Likewise, awareness raising and training are essential to ICENECDEV fulfilling its mandate of Inspiring, Informing and Enabling organisations and peoples to achieve this goal and successfully implementing the seven priority thematic areas.
The objectives of our environmental education programmes are to:
- Identify and share best practices a to support local community leaders,teachers and Universities to improve on environmental literacy and environmental education.
- Find ways to address the major environmental literacy and environmental education in local communities and colleges
- Identify process and content expertise to support environmental literacy and environmental education projects in local communities and colleges and Universities in Cameroon.
The Environmental Education and Training activities ICENECDEV inspire, inform and enabling communities and peoples to improve their quality of life for environmental sustainability. This is achieved by promoting innovative, action oriented, and value-based environmental education for sustainable development by ensuring that environmental considerations are taken into account.
4.Gender and Environment
According to UN Women, Gender equality refers to equal rights and opportunities of women, men, girls and boys. While recognizing differences between the sexes, rights and opportunities will not depend on whether one is born male or female. Gender equality implies that the interest need and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration. It is not only a women’s issue but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Gender equality is seen in both as a human right issue and a precondition for, and indicator people-centered development.
Gender to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between and among men and women. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed, learned through socialization process and context/time-specific and changeable. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a woman or a man in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, Access and control over resources as well as decision-making opportunities.
The SDGs, which aim to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, recognize that ‘’ending poverty must go hand-in –hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs and including education, health, social protection, while tackling climate change and environmental protection’’
Gender Equality as a Drive of Sustainable Development
Alteration in environmental condition poses an immediate threat to the world and its inhabitants. However, gender plays a prominent role in the differing impact on men and women’s ability to cope with environmental changes about underlying structural inequalities can also mean that those changes have a disproportionate impact on women.
Several factors contribute to women’s particular difficulties in redressing environmental challenge; these include insecure land and tenure rights, obstructed access to natural resource assets, limited participation in decision-making, limited access to markets, capital, training and technologies. Women’s ability to affect change is further impinged by additional burdens due to their responsibilities both inside and outside of the home. Collectively, these impediments present structural inequalities that restrict collective solutions being found to universal challenges.
Women are not merely passive victims of climate change and environmental degradation. With women being likely to benefit most directly from environmental conservation, protection and improvement, is clear evidence that such benefits are passed completely to their communities than those experienced by men, including through a greater positive impact on the nutrition and education of their children. Thus positive environmental outcomes for women are an important manes to ensure sustainability for all.
Both women and men possess knowledge and kills that are critical to finding solutions to environmental challenges identifying and addressing women as decision-makers, are critical to ensuring the sustainability of environmental policy planning and programming. Genuine participation of women offers the opportunity for their views, experiences and ideas to be incorporated in sustainable development initiatives. Given the requisite tools and support, women are a driving force for the new, more equitable and more sustainable and model of growth. Participation in sustainable development policy-and decision-making at all levels.
ICENECDEV empower women farmers on key environmental issues which affect the livelihood of the communities: Strategies of mitigating and adapting to Climate change, Use of agrochemicals, methods of soil conservation (Agroforestry) and land degradation.
5.Air Quality Monitoring
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that air quality causes between 7 and 8 million deaths every year. The makes air pollution the leading environmental cause of premature deaths. Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution s closely linked to increase in occurrences of cardiovascular disease, such as strokes and heart disease, as well as cancer and respiratory disease.
Recognizing the growing threat of air pollution, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) adapted resolution 1/7: Strengthening the Role of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in promoting Air Quality in June 2014 UNEP was requested to make an overview of the actions taken by governments to promote better air quality. The results are shared in an online catalogue of 193 countries. Based on the catalogue, fourteen sub-regional reports and this global summary were prepared describing ten key actions being undertaken by governments around the world to improve air quality.
From the analysis of the data provided by government and other publicly available materials on air quality, a set of ten key policy actions were identified that if adopted would significantly improve air quality. This presents an overview of these ten policy actions and indicates how many countries have adopted these actions (green), are on the way to adopting them (orange), or have yet to adopt or implement these actions (red). Although ‘’green’’ indicates countries that have fully implemented these policies.
These ten policy actions are organized into six categories; 1) indoor air pollution, 2) vehicle emission, 3) public and non-motorized transport, 4) Industrial emission, 5) open burning of waste, and 6) national air quality standards and regulations. World maps indicating where all countries are in regard to the six categories are provided in the global snapshot at the end of this report.
Progress has been made across these categories in different countries and there are illustrative case studies demonstrating good practices to be found across all geographic regions. When analyzing the air quality policies and programmes for the 193 countries a few crosscutting challenges were distilled: ineffective implementation and enforcement of existing policies and regulations; limited cooperation between national and city administration; the universal need for monitoring and assessment; and the importance of behavioral change and public participation through awareness and stakeholder involvement.
This report takes stock of the progress being made globally in introducing ten policy actions to improve indoor and outdoor air quality.
Indoor Air Pollution
Around half of the estimated 8-9 million premature deaths annually are caused by indoor air pollution, the main source being cooking and heating with solid fuels – wood and other biomass based fuel – over open fires. The two actions that can dramatically lower biomass use and improve indoor air quality are the use of efficient cook/heating stoves and cleaner burning fuels.
Out of the 193 countries 97 counties have increased the percentage of households that have access to cleaner burning fuels greater than 85% as indicated in the above figure. However, more than half of the world’s populations live in countries that have significantly lower access rate to cleaner burning fuels. As a result, more than 3 billion people continue to use solid fuels and open fires cooking and heating.
Even with increase access to cleaner fuels, households may opt to solid fuels due to affordability and / or reliability. For example, more than 85% of households in eleven out of twelve Caribbean countries have access to non-solid fuels. Despite this, the use of solid fuels to meet household energy demand is the predominant driver of air quality-related health impacts in the sub-region. A similar situation is found in Central and South America.
133 of the 93 countries have programmes to promote the use of efficient cook/heating stove. In most OECD countries these programmes are aimed at promoting efficient heating stoves, while in most developing countries they are aimed at promoting efficient cook stoves. Although these programmes exist, they do not always translate into a wide uptake of the clean stoves due to issues of culture, affordability and marketing. Therefore, the ‘’green’’ in the figure above indicates countries that have programmes to promote efficient cook/heating stoves and does not indicate the effectiveness of these programmes.
Why air pollution Matters
Millions of people die prematurely every year because of-l term exposure to air pollutants. Sources of air pollution include traffic (especially diesel vehicle), industrial sectors (from brick making to oil gas production), agriculture, power plants, cooking and heating with solid fuels (e.g. crop waste), forest fire and the open burning of municipal waste and agricultural residues.
By reducing air pollution, countries can lower the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and both chronic and acute respiratory disease. Lowering outdoor air pollution also reduces emission of co-emitted carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon particles and methane, thus contributing to the fight against climate change.
The State of Play
- Each year, about seven million die as a result of indoor and outdoor air pollution, while many more suffer illnesses that damage their health, and reduce their productivity and wellbeing.
- Indoor smoke is serious health risk for some three billion who cook and heat their homes with solid fuels.
- In Africa, indoor air pollution is responsible for around 600,000 premature deaths every year.
- In Africa, the rapid growth of its cities and megacities will like trigger a large increase in air pollutant emissions from burning fossil fuel and traditional biomass. This could contribute 50 percent of global emission in 2030, according to some estimates.
- The cost air pollution in 2010was estimated at $1.4 trillion in China and $0.5 trillion in India.
- In Europe, exposure to pollution from road transport cause about $137 billion per year and the harm caused by air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities – including through lost lives, poor health and crop damage – was about $140-230 billion in 2009.
- Particulate matter (PM) consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. PM is considered to be the most damaging air pollutants. Chronic exposure to particle contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory disease, as well as a lung cancer.
- More than 50 percent of premature deaths due to pneumonia among children under the age of five are caused by the PM inhaled from household air pollution.
- The largest contribution to urban outdoor air pollution include motor transport small-scale manufacturers and other industries, the burning of solid fuel for cooking and heating, and coal-fired power plants.
- Road transport is estimated to be responsible for up to30 percent of particulate emission in European cities and up to 50 percent of PM emission in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries mostly due to diesel traffic.
- Evidence suggests that road road transport accounted for 50 percent of the cost of the health impacts of air pollution both death and illness in OECD countries in 2010 – close to $1 trillion.
- Ground – level ozone is another major air pollutant, which damages human health and crops. It is estimated that global losses to soybean, maize and wheat crops due to ground – level ozone pollution could be$17-35billio per year by 2030
The Benefits of Action
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, using low-sulphur fuels and cleaning up vehicles, include motorcycles, could result in health benefits that add up to $43 billion of savings over a ten-year period.
- In the United States, the direct economic benefits of reducing PM and ground-level ozone pollution under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are estimated to be up to 90 times the cost of implementing them. About 85 percent of the economic benefits would result from fewer premature deaths linked to reducing PM in the outdoor environment, with the early deaths of 230,000 people avoided in 2020 alone.
- Significantly reducing black carbon and methane emissions could potentially cut the rate of climate change in half for the next several decades, as well as reduce air pollution related deaths by as much as 2.4 million per year while avoiding annual crop losses of 50 to more than 100 million tones.
- Transport: to reduce air pollution the world need to shift to clean modes of transport; prioritize rapid urban transit, walking and cycling; and shift to cleaner heavy duty diesel vehicles and low emission vehicles and fuels.
- Industry: clean technology that reduce industrial smokestack emission and the improved management of urban and agricultural waste, including the use of captured methane from waste sites as biogas, will also reduce air pollution.
- Urban planning: improving the energy efficiency of building and making cities more compact will reduce air pollution.
- Power generation: increase use of low emission-fuels and renewable combustion-free power sources (like solar, wind or hydropower); co-generation of heat and power; and industrial energy generation (e.g. mini-grids and rooftop solar power generation) will lower air pollution.
- Municipal and agricultural waste management waste reduction, waste separation. Recycling and reuse or waste reprocessing; and improved methods of biological waste management such as anaerobic waste digestion to produce biogas will reduce air pollution.
Change across the Globe
- In 2014, China announced plans to take up 6 million vehicles that do not meet emission standard off the roads. A cap was placed on new vehicles sales in 2013. About 31 percent of the air pollution in Beijing comes from vehicle exhaust fumes.
- Successful international operations to phase out leaded petrol under the UNEP-led Partnership for Clean Fuel and Vehicles (PCFV) suggest that the global feet is becoming less polluting with respect to heavy metals.
- When the PCFV was launched in 2002, approximately half of the world’s countries used lead petrol. As of October 2013, only six countries were still using a small amount. The PCFV phase-out avoids an estimated 1.3 million premature deaths per year.
- The Ruiru Youth Community Empowerment Program in Kenya has developed a less polluting firewood-burning stove that is up to 60 per cent more efficient than the open fires traditionally used in rural areas.
- In several, countries, low-cost monitoring devices are being developed to measure air pollution levels and exposure. Smartphone apps, for example, allow users to look at real-time data on outdoor air pollution.
ICENECDEV educate and sensitise the local population, Ministry of transport, schools, hospitals on air quality monitoring as part of our environmental education activities.
ICENECDEV collaborate and partner with Universities for intake of interns, volunteers and resource persons (consultants) to provide their time, knowledge and skills on international exchange programme , cross cultural exchange, research and Development.
These Universities include:
- Pan African Institute For West Africa,Cameroon
- University of Leiden,Netherlands,
- Livebuild Foundation, Netherlands
- University of Buea ,Cameroon
- University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Utrecht University, Netherlands
- Erasmus school of Economics Rotterdam, Netherlands.
- AISEC Cameroon and Netherland.
- Institute of Sahel,University of Maroua,Cameroon
ICENECDEV has worked with more than 103 international volunteers from Africa, Western Europe, China and South America.